Fall is my favorite time of the year. Winter would easily win if I lived somewhere that received snow on a regular basis. But I live in Cincinnati. In the band where we get almost no snow. Right across the river in Kentucky seems to get more snow than we do. Right up to the north in Columbus seems to get more snow than we do. Keep in mind that I grew up in Cleveland, so I grew up with a LOT of snow and I loved it. Since coming to Cincinnati however, I can count on one hand the number of decent snowfalls we have gotten. So Fall has transitioned to my favorite season. The brisk weather (normally, not this year). The leaves.
Pumpkin patches and the Renaissance festival. I love it all.
With the coming of Fall however comes the shorter days. And with the shorter days comes less daylight (funny how that works out). So inevitably less daylight means less outside playtime. And that is important for our children. Specifically our child. Our child is a “run around the yard, ride her bike, chalk up the driveway (and I mean the ENTIRE driveway…it’s impressive), swing on the swing for hours, up and down the slide, ball of energy” kind of kid. It’s important to get that energy out of her as much as possible during the day. Otherwise she takes it out on our couch, or the bed, or the dogs (and she’s getting a little too tall to be riding the dogs any more).
So believe it or not, part of our strategy for making sure our daughter gets enough outside play time starts with her school. Basically they have a policy that unless it’s pouring down rain, they go outside for recess. There may be a caveat if it’s really cold (like “losing fingers or toes” cold), but they make sure they go outside to play. Some schools don’t do that. When we were looking at schools for her that is one of the things we took a hard look at.
Second, if we do happen to get enough snow to enjoy, we make sure we enjoy it. You know what the biggest obstacle to that is? Grown up winter clothes. Our daughter has more than enough coats and snow pants and hats and scarves and gloves and boots to last in the Arctic. You know what I have? A coat. That’s it. It’s hard to go out and enjoy the snow when you have a coat, but no boots or snow pants decent gloves. So I have had to build up my arsenal of winter gear. Here’s a hint, March (when we typically get snow, go figure) is NOT the best time to get winter gear. Plan ahead.
Third, every homeowner knows that the Fall and Winter months don’t mean there’s less work to do outside. You may not be mowing the grass, but there is raking and yard cleanup, lights to string, etc. We encourage our daughter to come out and help. Keep in mind the “help” lasts for about five minutes before she is just running around like a little crazy whirlwind, breaking out the chalk or chasing the dogs, but we kind of know that’s how it’s going to go before hand. So she thinks she’s being daddy’s little helper with the yard work but in reality she’s playing and being a kid. What can I say? Devious parenting for the win.
Do you need ideas on how to get your little ones more engaged outside? Check out the Voice of Play for some ideas and trends. What are your innovative ideas? Let us know in the comments
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play.